Australian creates regatta around the world in which competitors must build their own sailboat. And the best: you can do it in your backyard!
Around the world, me? Yes, you who have an adventurous spirit. And participating in a race with inexperienced sailors. More than that: competing on a small sailboat built with your own hands!
It may seem insane, but this is the proposal of the Australian Don McIntyre, who is organizing a circumnavigation with 5.8 meters plywood boats of the Mini Class 5.80: the Mini Globo Race 2024, which will be disputed in six stages and one total of 26,400 miles, starting at a European port yet to be set heading west (passing through the Panama Canal).
The proposal is exactly that: build a sailboat with your own hands and participate in a worldwide regatta. For this, McIntyre launched the One Design ClassMini 5.80, a kit with instructions on how to shape the boat, aimed at sailors of any age and different levels of experience, who dream of making an ocean crossing. To obtain the construction plans, all you need to do is pay € 300, in addition to the purchase price of the raw material.
“In just a few months working in a garage or garden, the sailboat can be ready to sail”, says the Australian sailor. “The mast can be divided into two parts, and it is not difficult to remove and place the keel and rudder”, he guarantees.
The first unit of the new class is currently under construction in Poland and is expected to be ready to sail by the end of June. In the description of its creators, the Mini 5.80 will be a “fun, accessible and safe” monotype. Its small size allows it to be transported in a trailer with a family car.
Prior to this circumnavigation, McIntyre, 64, promoted from vintage regattas like the Golden Globe Race 2018. In 2006, alongside his wife, Margie, he received a gold medal as “The Adventurers of the Year” from the Australian Geographic Society – which says a lot about him.
- Length: 5.80 m Beam : 2.27 m
- Draft: 1,40 m
- Displacement: 700 kg
- Keel weight: 220 kg
- Mainsail: 12.5 m² – 9.9 m² – 7.2 m² – 4.4 m²
- Gennaker: 23m
The Mini Globe Race 2024 route
- 1st stage: start at a port in Europe not yet defined, heading for the Canary Islands, where there will be a four-day stopover, before the flotilla goes to a Caribbean port (with a seven-day stop) and from there to Panama. Distance traveled: 4 700 miles.
- 2nd stage: from Panama to the Marquesas Islands, where the competitors make a seven-day stopover before proceeding to Tahiti. Distance: 4 660 miles.
- 3rd stage: from Tahiti to Tonga. Distance: 1,400 miles.
- 4th stage: from Tonga to Kupang, capital of the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara. Distance: 3 800 miles.
- 5th stage: from Kupang to Mauritius, with a seven-day stopover before heading to Cape Town. Distance: 6 200 miles.
- 6th stage: Cape Town to Cape Verde, with a seven-day stopover before the final leg towards the finish line, in Europe. Distance: 5700 miles.